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Colorado Gives Day exceeds goals despite early meltdown

11:54 AM, Dec 7, 2011   |    comments
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The philanthropic effort was to run through midnight Tuesday, but technical problems with the website used to collect donations caused organizers to extend the deadline.

The Community First Foundation is extending the period of online giving at www.GivingFirst.org/COGivesDay until noon on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

Community First Foundation CEO Marla Williams oversees the Colorado Gives Day website, which crashed for more than two hours Tuesday morning.

"It was very frustrating for donors. We feel horrible about that," Williams said.

9NEWS Digital Content Manager Misty Montano says the number of news tips when the website crashed was similar to a breaking story.

"This is so important to so many people that, in itself, it became the news story," Montano said.

In Denver, #COGIVESDAY was the number one trend on Twitter.

The number of online donations is bound to exceed last year's total of 22,000.

As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, the total amount raised was $9.3 million and climbing.

Last year, Colorado Gives Day inspired Coloradans to donate more than $8.4 million in one day.

"We're ahead of pace from last year. They're determined to make those gifts and they've done it," Williams said.

Williams says the donations are badly needed as so many continue struggling in this economy.

"This is a tough time for nonprofits," Williams said. "It just gets harder every year for non-profits to keep their doors open. The demand for their services goes up."

With all the glitches worked out, Colorado Gives Day is back up and running until noon Wednesday.

"Even though we threw a few barriers in their way, they delivered," Williams said.

The Community First Foundation says all contributions given up to the deadline on Wednesday will continue to be counted toward Bonus Bucks (drawn every hour until noon on Dec. 7) as well as High Five Prizes.

An email box was also set up so if a donor did not get an email confirmation receipt of a gift, he or she can submit their last name, the approximate time of the donation, how much the donation was for and how it was made (by credit card or e-check) and which nonprofit they donated to. They will then get a receipt. Donors can send those emails to verifiedgift@communityfirstfoundation.org.

To donate, please visit www.GivingFirst.org/COGivesDay.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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